Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >
Mar 13, 2011 06:09 PM

Evanston lunch and diner

Making my annual trip to Chicago for my baseball fantasy draft. Staying in Evanston at the Hilton Garden Inn downtown on Maple. Seeking restaurants within walking distance for dinner and lunch. Italian, burgers, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, or American. Anything that you especially enjoy? Price range open.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. To stay within walking distance, you'll want to stick to downtown Evanston (as far south as Lake). All of these are no more than a 10-12 minute walk, and some are less than half that.

    All of the following are worth considering. I strongly recommend the ones listed in the first group as the best of the best. All are open for both lunch and dinner except where noted otherwise. Some of these accept reservations (including some on; they're generally not necessary during the week, but strongly recommended for dinner on weekends.

    Chef's Station (contemporary American, dinner only)
    The Stained Glass (wine bar/contemporary American, dinner only)
    Pete Miller's (steakhouse, dinner only)
    Thai Sookdee (Thai)
    Lou Malnati's (deep-dish pizza, single-crust "pizza in the pan")
    Giordano's (deep-dish pizza, double-crust "stuffed pizza")
    Prairie Moon (American/sports bar)

    Bistro Bordeaux (French bistro, dinner and Sunday brunch only)
    Lulu's Dim Sum (pan-Asian)
    Pine Yard (Chinese)
    Koi (Chinese)
    Merle's (barbecue, dinner only on weekdays, lunch/dinner weekends)
    Davis Street Fishmarket (seafood)
    Bat 17 (sandwiches/deli)
    Dixie Kitchen (cajun/creole)
    Mt. Everest (Indian; they do a nice buffet at lunchtime)
    Tapas Barcelona (tapas)
    That Little Mexican Cafe (Mexican)
    Globe Cafe & Bar (American)

    Futami is a downtown restaurant serving Japanese/sushi which I haven't been to, but I'm supposed to go this week, so I'll try to remember to come back and comment here.

    As for the specific types of food you ask about...

    >> Italian

    This one's a toughy. Aside from the deep-dish pizza listed above, there are three places I'd consider. Bravo! is a chain, and it's just okay, but it's right at the end of the same block as the hotel, so it's convenient. Pensiero Ristorante is a very nice Italian place that re-opened last year but has had a revolving door of chefs ever since. Dinner only. If you want great Italian food, you'll need to go about a mile south (you can take an el, bus, or cab if you don't want to walk) to Campagnola. Dinner only. (Do NOT go to Dave's Italian Kitchen or Gio, which are both dreadful!)

    >> burgers

    Pete Miller's, the steakhouse, has great burgers, but is only open for dinner. For burgers at lunch and dinner, there's a casual place with excellent burgers a couple blocks from the hotel, called Buffalo Joe's.

    >> Chinese

    I've listed Pine Yard and Koi. Pine Yard is okay, probably the best Chinese in town, but that's not saying much. There's also a new Taiwanese restaurant in town that I haven't yet been to, 527 Cafe.

    >> Thai

    Go to Thai Sookdee, a couple blocks from the hotel. Their tom kha gai (soup) is outstanding, best in the Chicago area!

    >> Vietnamese

    I don't think there are any Vietnamese restaurants in Evanston. Above, I listed Lulu's Dim Sum, which is a mix of Asian cuisines. There's one thing about Lulu's that's great, and that's their "munch a bunch" deal. For lunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and dinner on Mondays and Tuesdays, you can pay a flat fee ($17.95, I think) and get all you can eat of almost everything on their menu.

    >> American

    See above for contemporary American (Chef's Station, Stained Glass) and sports bar American (Prairie Moon).

    Feel free to ask more questions, and enjoy your visit!

    2 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      >> burgers

      Hey, I forgot to mention one place, and it's one of our best!!! Edzo's. If you want a burger, you've GOT to go to Edzo's. It's a burger place in downtown Evanston that opened recently. They have the best burgers and the best milk shakes you'll find anywhere! You have a choice of griddled burgers - smashed down and cooked through, so they're slightly crispy on the outside - or char burgers - thick burgers cooked on the grill till they're whatever doneness you specify. And the shakes and malts, oh my gosh! Made in the old-fashioned shake machine and they give you the extra amount that's in the metal cup. They have about ten different kinds of fries, too.

      Ed, the owner, previously worked in some of our finest restaurants, but he wanted to open a restaurant in which he could be home with his family for dinner every night. So Edzo's is only open for lunch till 4 pm, and it's closed Mondays. They get rather busy between 11:45 and 12:20.

      1571 Sherman Ave.

      1571 Sherman Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

      1. re: nsxtasy

        Thank you so much for your generosity! I have printed your list and will take with me. Edzo's is new since I have been is a must stop! Thai Sookdee, Chef's Station and Davis Street Fish Market sound good as well. So many choices on your list...may need to save a few for my next visit. Your comments on Dave's Italian Kitchen made me was bad when I lived in Evanston back in the 1980's! If you are ever out west let me know so I can provide recs...I'm in Boise Idaho :)

        Thai Sookdee Restaurant
        1016 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201

        Chef's Station
        915 Davis Street, Evanston, IL 60201

        Dave's Italian Kitchen
        1635 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

        1571 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201